Councilmembers Vote to Loosen Parking Requirements Near Public Transit Stations

The Montgomery County Council voted on a bill Tuesday that would eliminate parking requirements for newly constructed residential developments near public transit stations.

The Zoning Text Amendment (PDF) will excuse some developers from meeting the required parking standard. To qualify, developers must build housing within a half-mile of a Metro or Purple Line station, or a quarter-mile from an existing Bus Rapid Transit station.

This legislation, which was introduced in November 2023, is intended to promote housing near transit hubs and help the county reach its climate goals, according to a county council press release. Councilmembers also cited the need for more housing and the costly expenses associated with constructing parking.

“Montgomery County shouldn’t impose unnecessary costs on desperately needed housing that’s critical to creating more walkable and liveable communities,” Council President Andrew Friedson said in the press release.

Friedson led this bill with Councilmembers Evan Glass and Kristin Mink. The rest of the county council signed on as co-sponsors.

“Montgomery County is experiencing a housing shortage, and we must adopt meaningful reforms to address this crisis,” Glass said in a November press release. “Reducing parking near transit is a commonsense approach that will make housing more affordable, help us reach our housing goals and move us toward a more sustainable, green future.”

Glass also previously mentioned that it costs $70,000 – $100,000 to construct just one underground parking space, according to the Montgomery County Department of Transportation. Mink added that this legislation will not take away existing parking, but will rather allow future construction projects to include only the amount of necessary parking.

The amendment states that it hopes to encourage more housing construction and lower living costs. The zoning measure will be in effect 20 days after Tuesday’s vote.

Montgomery County graphic

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